There’s no bull here – Circus Oz is a rough, raw, feisty and cheeky show of brilliant Aussie talent which appeals to a multi-generational audience. Naughty enough to be a thrill for the parents and cute enough for the kids to screech with laughter, which they did.
Oz has come a long way since I saw them as a child with the audience sitting on the ground in a garden while the circus performed on a stage, rather than a big top, although they haven’t lost their political vibe, sexy charm and messages of “community, diversity, humanity and hilarity”. If you are an older theatre goer you might remember the Fruit Flies, Suitcase Circus, Soapbox Circus and New Circus – Circus Oz has some roots and influence in all of these and yet cannot be compared to anything else.
Strongwoman (also Acrobat, Dancer and Aerialist – everyone does everything around here!) and WA native Mel Fyfe performs a wicked set on the wheel while singer Christina Hughes who is somewhere between a transvestite and a beauty queen tells us life is a “Bikini Parade”; proving that you don’t need to be thin, blonde and have Britney Spears as your ultimate role model to be sexy and kick ass.
In the second half of the Laughing at Gravity Tour, acrobat, BMX trickster and random clown Scott Hone had a massive surprise for us. Contact Juggling! He had this reviewer gob smacked – after researching the art as a child many years ago I had still never seen it actually done, until now.
The music that accompanies Circus Oz is loud and rocking and accompanies some of the cheeky characters very well. A favourite of the audience was Mel Fyfe’s schoolgirl “Kimmy”. The parents watching would all too fondly remember the old school antics of Kimmy from their own childhood and the younger kids could see what they had to look forward to. Another example of how well Circus Oz connects with people of all ages. Most parents emerge from a big top with sick, sugared up kids in tow looking ragged, stressed and on the edge of an explosion but after Circus Oz, the folks were skipping out on cloud nine just like the littlies.
Stuntman Junior was a favourite with the kids as they screamed with anticipation when he swayed over the audience while balancing precariously on the top of a 15 foot lamp post obviously doomed to fall to his death.
Circus Oz is hot. It was too, quite literally, when Mel Fyfe’s wheel, Scott Hone’s bike, juggling sticks and various parts of the stage were set alight and left to burn for an amazing finale. Bigger smiles have never been seen on the faces of children, adults and of the performers – full of attitude, sparkly costumes, tattoos and a strong sense of love for all. Their grins were the biggest of all and it is obvious that they really and truly enjoy their work. This is such a beautiful, touching and refreshing thing to see. Rock on Circus Oz. What the hell – go see them twice!
UWA Perth International Arts Festival presents
Laughing at Gravity Tour
Venue: Under the Big Top at The Esplanade, Perth
Dates: 21 Feb - 5 March
Bookings: BOCS 9484 1133 or perthfestival.com.au